Fire Guts POWA Shopping Plaza in Benin

A shopping plaza belonging to the Police Officers’ Wives Association (POWA), was Monday night engulfed by fire.
This incident is coming less than three months after the largest supermarket in Benin, Edo state, Phil-Hallmark, was razed by a midnight inferno.
It was gathered that the fire which started at about 9 pm, affected several shops in the mall located at Etete in GRA, Benin.
Although the cause of the fire could not be ascertained, it was gathered that over 86 shops were razed.
‎Some of the residents in the area said they heard an explosion, which may have come from generator sets.
Valuable goods and items were also said to have been destroyed by the inferno before the arrival of the state fire service.
The Zone 5 Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Emeka Iheanacho, confirmed the incident to journalists on Tuesday.
“Yes, there was a fire incident at POWA shopping plaza. It was not at the zonal headquarters. Nobody could ascertain the cause of the fire, as at last night ‎(Monday).
“But we did our best to mobilise and call the fire service, though before they came, the fire had done a great damage. People had lost so many goods and wares in their shops.
“Some alleged that some people stockpiled gas cylinders and, probably,‎ it (inferno) could be as a result of the explosion of the gas. Some said it could be electrical fault that gutted the shop where they had the gas cylinders, which now escalated the fire.
“But those things are unconfirmed reports. It is this morning that the (police) command must have intensified investigation to know the cause of the fire incident. It is a great loss to the POWA,” Iheanacho said.
One of the shop owners, Onyeka Omenua, ‎who repairs and sell generator sets, told our correspondent that he had received a call alerting him of the fire but could not salvage any of his goods as all of them were burnt to ashes.
“More than 100 generatos were affected. I feel so pained. I am just confused; I don’t know where to start from now.
“About 10 generators worth N250,000 and about 50 or 30 generators worth N1000,000. I am just jobless now but I thank God‎ that I still have a handiwork,” he said.
The acting Chairperson, of the Police Officers Wives Association (Edo Command) Mrs. Ayba Elkanah‎, also expressed shock over the incident.
Elkanah however urged the affected shop owners to remain calm as the association would ascertain the level of damage.
‎”We will go round and access the level of damage before we can solicit the assistance of philanthropists and government.
“They (shop owners) should take heart. The important thing is that no life was involved. God has a solution for everything,” she said.

Author: News Editor

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